Friday started badly. Scanning the news, I ran across a Washington Post report that some Christians feel their rights are violated by civil rights statutes that require them to provide services without discrimination to gays and lesbians. They think LGBT people have cooties and want to be able to refuse to deal with us. Seems to me, all these folks can believe anything they want, but when they work out in the world, they need to accept that this is a society where differences co-exist.
Fortunately, I got to spend the middle of the day -- the observance of Good Friday, the Christian commemoration of the Jesus' crucifixion -- with another kind of believer. The community of the Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist/El Buen Samaritano, along with folks from other parishes in the SOMA Ministry (Holy Innocents, St. Aidan's and St. Gregory of Nyassa) processed through San Francisco's Mission district marking Jesus' last walk to his execution with prayers in front of various community landmarks.
In the past we've done this in the Castro and spooked some of the natives. In the Mission, 50 or so processing Episcopalians, many LGBT, praying in English and Spanish, seemed more run of the mill.
In addition to the cross, we carried a contemporary icon, a photo by Tyler Hicks of a wounded Iraqi held captive by U.S. soldiers.
How to explain such fearful agony to a curious child? But human pain and cruelty cannot be entirely hidden.
We did meet one detractor -- this gentleman waving his Bible and American flag felt we were not doing our bit to purify the Sodom that is San Francisco.
He's right. We try to be more about compassion than condemnation; sometimes we succeed.